Sony/ATV (Michael Jackson) Music Publishing handlin’ their bizness
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Sony ATV Nashville makes
music publishing HIStory
By CINDY WATTS
Sony ATV Nashville
made history this awards season when it became the first publishing company to
be named country publisher of the year by all three performing rights
organizations, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The company’s holdings consist primarily
of the substantial music catalogs of Tree Publishing and Acuff Rose Music.
“We’ve had an amazing
year,” said Martin Bandier, chairman and CEO of Sony ATV (Michael Jackson) Music Publishing. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and
this has never happened before. You understand that at performing rights
organizations you have different songs, so it’s not like if you win one you can
win them all. You have different songs at BMI, different songs at ASCAP and
different songs at SESAC. … This is not a beauty contest. This is an actual
‘you’ve done an amazing job’ contest.”
Different standards used
The awards were an nounced
at three separate awards ceremonies earlier this fall. Each performing rights
organization determines its country publisher of the year in a different way.
ASCAP’s choice is based on
which company has the highest percentage of copyright ownership of ASCAP’s most
performed country music songs of the year.
BMI’s publisher of the year
is the publishing company that has the highest percentage of copyright
ownership of BMI’s 50 most performed country music songs of the year. Of those
50 country songs for 2007, Sony ATV is home to 17.
SESAC, which recognized
Hillsboro Valley Songs in addition to Sony ATV, bases its publisher of the year
award on performance activity as well.
“A few years ago, when
Sony ATV (Tree) acquired Acuff Rose publishing, it really married the two
granddaddies of Nashville country publishing together, and they kind of created
this place that can stay dominant as long as they want to stay active,”
said Jody Williams, BMI’s vice president of writer publisher relations.
“Their catalog is
unparalleled, and what you do with a publishing catalog is you take those great
old songs and then acquire new songwriters to breathe new life into the future
of the company with new copyrights,” Williams said. “So you have the
old stuff working and new stuff working, and in the event that your new writers
don’t pan out, your catalog carries you through those tough times. But what’s
happening at Sony ATV now is that the catalog and new writers are hitting on
all cylinders, so they have this undeniable force.”
Connie Bradley, senior vice
president at ASCAP, agreed, and predicted that Sony ATV will continue to win
awards in the future.
“Both of those
catalogs (Sony ATV Tree and Acuff Rose) make them a giant,” she said.
“But current hits are what made them publisher of the year at ASCAP. Not
only do they have a large number of hit songwriters, but they also have a lot
of songwriter artists, like Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts and Brooks &
Dunn, that account for a large portion of country airplay. So with that and the
leadership of Troy Tomlinson and his team, they’re … hard to beat.”
Sony ATV Nashville isn’t
taking its success
for granted. Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of the company, said the staff
knew that winning top country publisher from each performing rights
organization was “a pretty amazing” feat. He said that the win is more
than just a snapshot of the last year’s activities.
“What I think can fool
people is that they can look at it in very narrow terms,” Tomlinson said.
“But the truth is that any unprecedented achievement like this doesn’t
just happen overnight or in a few months. It’s really a culmination of several
years of teamwork and commitment and just being driven.
“Yes, we’ve had an
awesome year, but signing the writers and pitching the songs it took in order
to have all this culminate has taken a longer period of time than one year to
create. We aren’t sitting up here going, ‘Wow, aren’t we wonderful.’ We know
the stars had to align for this to happen.”
Sony ATV looks to future
And don’t expect to find
Tomlinson and the other employees
at Sony ATV basking in the glow of their recent triple win.
The president said the
company is already hard at work, with its eye on sweeping the performing rights
organizations’ awards again in 2008.
“As excited and
thrilled as we are, the very next day it was, ‘OK, what are we going to do
about next year?’ ” he said. “You can enjoy it during that moment,
but the very next day you’re back to it again.”
Tomlinson attributes the
company’s success to a dedicated staff, a stable of talented songwriters and
what he calls Music Row’s open door.
“The thing that
continues to amaze and encourage me about our industry is the open door we have
to so many artists, producers and A&R people,” he said. “If we
didn’t have that, nothing would happen.”
From The Times –
Dan Sabbagh, Media Editor
July 5, 2007
Sony BMG seeks Michael Jackson’s backing for move to sign songwriters
Sony is in talks with Michael Jackson to renegotiate the terms of their music publishing joint-venture, which would allow Sony BMG, the sister company, to sign songwriters for the first time.
A clause in the existing agreement between the Thriller singer and the Japanese electronics giant prevents Sony backing a music publisher to rival their Sony/ATV venture, which has the copyrights to all 252 Beatles songs in its catalogue.
If Sony can persuade Jackson, its business partner, to relax or even erase the clause as part of the negotiations, that would allow Sony BMG, the recorded music concern, to become a part-competitor.
Sony BMG is desperate to enter the music publishing market because it would help to offset the collapse in recorded music and would allow the record label behind Justin Timberlake and Bob Dylan to sign up songwriters in tandem with acts.
Recorded music sales are expected to be off by as much as 11 per cent this year, but publishing has been more stable because it generates income from growing areas, such as radio airplay and use of music in advertising as well as CD and download sales.
Rolf Schmidt-Holz, Sony BMG’s chief executive, said in May that “we will do everything to reenter the market for music publishing”. His remarks surprised rival executives, who knew that a decision to go into publishing was not within his power. However, the existence of the previously unknown discussions explains his confidence.
Discussions between Sony and Jackson are at an early stage and could collapse. Relations between the two have been strained in the past. Sony/ATV has faced problems making acquisitions because contacting the controversial star quickly enough to agree bids has been difficult.
Jackson recently agreed to allow Sony/ATV to expand aggressively under Marty Bandier, the newly appointed chief executive. The company now also has an option, which it has so far declined to exercise, to buy a further 25 per cent of the business from its partner.
It is unclear how far the shareholder agreement between the two parties will be relaxed. There are hopes that Jackson will not have to be paid, although if that is the case he is likely to insist that Sony BMG can only sign up a handful of songwriters.
Half-owned by Sony and Bertlesmann, of Germany, Sony BMG is the second-largest recorded music company in the world, but it is unique because the company does not include a publishing arm.
The music business is traditionally split into two halves. Recorded music operations find, develop and promote artists, while music publishing units handle and manage songwriter copyrights. Its rivals Universal, EMI and Warner Music all conduct both activities.
Sony and Sony BMG declined to comment.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing To Acquire Famous Music LLC
May 31, 2007
“This is a milestone event for Sony/ATV Music Publishing,” said Michael Jackson. “The diverse collection of songs in this catalogue range from timeless classics to contemporary hits, and I am pleased to add the acquisition of Famous Music to Sony/ATV.”
SCA – NEW YORK, May 30, 2007 — Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) today announced that they have signed an agreement for Sony/ATV to acquire Famous Music LLC from Viacom. Sony/ATV Music Publishing is co-owned by Sony and trusts formed by Michael Jackson.
“The Famous Music catalogue is a world-class asset filled with evergreen songs that people know and love,” said Martin N. Bandier, Chairman and CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing. “The depth and breadth of the catalogue is what truly makes it great, and I strongly believe that the addition of the Famous catalogue and its songwriters to Sony/ATV is another step in our long-range growth plans. In addition, we are pleased to be entering the production music business through Famous’ Extreme division. Extreme’s valuable creative team and unique business model will be a terrific complement to our core music publishing business.”
“Famous Music is one of the iconic names in music publishing,” said Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom. “We are very pleased that Sony/ATV Music Publishing has recognized its great value and potential. We have benefited greatly from the talent and experience of the very able management team at Famous Music, particularly its long time CEO, Irwin Robinson, as well as Ira Jaffe, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Margaret Johnson, Executive Vice President Finance and Administration. We know that Famous and its fine executives have many great days ahead and want to thank them for their tremendous accomplishments.”
“Famous Music is one of the world’s largest independent music publishers, and this acquisition, following on the heels of the Leiber Stoller acquisition, further enhances Sony/ATV’s position in the global music publishing industry,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Financial Officer, Sony Corporation of America.
April 17 /PRNewswire/ —
Sony/ATV (Michael Jackson) Music Publishing today announced that it has acquired the
legendary catalogue of award-winning songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
“I am delighted that we were able to acquire the Leiber Stoller
catalogue,” said Michael Jackson. “The songs of Jerry Leiber and Mike
Stoller have defined an era, and the artists who have recorded their work
reads like a who’s who of rock and roll.”
The Leiber Stoller catalogue contains more than 40 Top 40 hits,
including “Stand By Me,” “Poison Ivy,” “Is That All There Is?,” “Love
Potion #9″ and some of the greatest songs that are part of the Elvis
Presley legend, including “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock.”
Sony/ATV Music Publishing is co- owned by Sony and Michael Jackson.
“I have always been a great fan of this amazing catalogue,” said Martin
N. Bandier, Chairman and CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing. “These songs can
only be described as gems that help define American music. I am looking
forward to exploring ways to introduce them to a whole new generation and
to working with Jerry and Mike, who are two of the most prolific and
successful songwriters of all time.”
“This is an important and exciting acquisition for Sony/ATV Music
Publishing,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Financial Officer, Sony Corporation
of America, and Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Sony
Entertainment Inc. “This catalogue traces decades of rock and roll history,
and we look forward to further increasing its value for the company going
Leiber and Stoller, who have worked together for more than 50 years,
have been inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, the Record
Producers’ Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They also
share a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“As an innovative and independent music publishing company, Sony/ATV
provides the perfect home for our work,” said Mike Stoller. “I am confident
that the team at Sony/ATV will give the necessary focus and attention to
our songs, creating fresh and innovative ways to promote our work.”
Jerry Leiber added, “I am pleased to join Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s
extensive roster of great composers, including Lennon and McCartney, Roy
Orbison, and Hank Williams.”
Key songs from the Leiber and Stoller catalogue include:
Stand By Me, Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, Kansas City, Love Potion #9,
Jackson, Is That All There Is?, Lucky Lips, Yakety Yak, Love Me, Santa
Claus Is Back In Town, I’m A Woman, I Keep Forgettin’, Don’t, Spanish
Harlem, Loving You, Searchin’, Poison Ivy, Charlie Brown, Ruby Baby, I (Who
Have Nothing), Trouble, Treat Me Nice, There Goes My Baby, Dance With Me,
Little Egypt, (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care, Young Blood, You’re The
Boss, She’s Not You, Regulate, Saved, Pearl’s A Singer, Smokey Joe’s Café,
Riot In Cell Block # 9, King Creole, Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle
Boots (L’Homme a la Moto), Bossa Nova Baby, Down Home Girl and Drip Drop.
About Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony/ATV Music Publishing was established in 1995 as a joint venture
between Sony and trusts formed by Michael Jackson. Sony/ATV Music
Publishing owns or administers over 400,000 copyrights by such artists as
the Beatles, Beck, Brooks & Dunn, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan,
The Everly Brothers, Fall Out Boy, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Mann, Joni Mitchell,
Graham Nash, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Richie Sambora, Stephen Stills, KT
Tunstall and Hank Williams, among others.
It is not part of the Sony BMG Music Entertainment venture.
SOURCE Sony/ATV Music Publishing: established in 1995
as a joint venture between Sony and Michael Jackson.